After one of the worst years in our lifetime, a year that was full of death and sorrow, everyone is wishing/praying that this new year is better and more hopeful. We have the capability to change the year for the better, more than we think. Our outlook and how we handle the difficult situations we face, even if we are not responsible for them, can affect how we experience the year. So if we truly want this year to be better than last we must take proactive action.
There are some things to be hopeful about. Like the vaccine for COVID-19, which hopefully can slow down the progress of the virus. But the vaccine is not a magic bullet, it will take some time before we see positive results. Especially since we are now in the midst of a surge. So we need to be patient while working toward a goal that can be attained. It is important to have a practical expectation about the outcome, as in the long run that will help us feel better.
To help get the most out of our year and hopefully make our wish come true, I created five resolutions that I think most of us can agree on.
1. Give yourself time off of social media.
Social media has a way of creating hypes out of every little issue — making mountains out of molehills. If you constantly follow social media you will think that the world is exploding and Armageddon is about to happen, only to look out the window and find that nothing has changed. Paying attention to all these rumors and hype can stress anyone out, not to mention waste a lot of time. So for our mental and physical health, we should reduce our attention to social media and make it a point to stay off of it for a while every day and use that time to pay attention to ourselves, family, and friends.
2. Continue to take safety precautions from the Coronavirus
While we wait for the vaccine to start taking effect and making a difference, we need to continue protecting ourselves from the virus. That means practicing social distancing, frequent 20 second-hand washings, and wearing masks in public. This is a small price to pay for protecting ourselves and others from getting sick. Even if we think we will not be affected badly, we need to be considerate of our parents and the week and elderly among us. I heard of many people who did not have any known underlying health problems and were in their 30's, yet they got a severe bout of COVID-19 or lingering symptoms for a long time. A little inconvenience now will save us much more difficulty in the long-run.
3. Pay attention to your mental and physical wellness
It is very important to take care of our mental/spiritual health, especially after all that we have gone through this past year. Many people ignore their mental well being, especially due to the stigma that surrounded the topic. But now things are changing and people are starting to recognize the importance of the issue. Exercise can be a good way to help both our physical and mental health. Going for walks outdoors, where we can soak up the nature around us is a good way of exercising. Practicing mindfulness or doing something that makes us feel good is another way of improving our overall well being. Learning to be in touch with our spiritual side is something we can work on, but it may be a journey that we learn from overtime. The time you saved off of social media can be used toward this goal.
4. Learn something new every day
This is not a very time-consuming endeavor. But it requires us to be aware of things and pay closer attention. Many of us learn new things when we watch an informative show, read a magazine or newspaper, or book — that includes online versions. Try to notice what you learned and write it down every day. It can be as simple as learning a new word. But we should avoid setting goals that are hard to achieve or we will not do them. Keep it simple but steady. I suggest we look back at our log after a week and see how much we learned. This should motivate us to keep going!
5. Share your resources with others
Everyone is still reeling from 2020 and many more people are in need of more help than usual. Here is your chance to shine. There are lots of ways to help. You can create something on your own, or join an existing organization that provides opportunities to help others. This website provides a list of ways to help, and there are many more. Helping others is not only a good thing, but it is also rewarding and will definitely go towards improving your mental wellness.
Start committing to these resolutions to make this truly a happy new year.